Fourteen-year old Dylan is lost in the grief and guilt of losing her mother in a freak accident.
As she sits beside her mum’s grieving boyfriend on the drive across country, where she’ll be delivered to the family she’s never known, Dylan struggles to know what is real. And we take this journey with her
Dylan is unusual in every way. We are plunged into the eyes and mind of this teenaged girl and once ensconced there, it’s very difficult to leave.
As the child of an Afro-Caribbean father and a French mother who’s spent her whole life in a small Australian town, her delightful turns of phrase and idiosyncracies are both endearing and hilarious. The first-person narrative is perfect. Here’s her mum’s boyfriend, Pat, asking Dylan to sit down for a cooked breakfast (on page one):
‘Siddown.’ Pat’s not one for hairs and graces. Not at 6am in the morning.
And this is how it goes. I actually fell in love with Dylan. Sure. it was because she made me laugh and cry. However, it was also that she lives and travels between dream and reality, that she’s randomly psychic and that she seamlessly invites us into the fluid, moving mindscapes and landscapes which are her world. The characters all seem very real – flesh and blood people such as quiet addict Pat, silent four-year old Joni and grandfather William who Dylan is initially bat-shit scared of, but ends up adoring. And the others – her loving dead mother and the beings who implore her to follow dangerous and destructive paths. It’s a heady mix.
This beautifully crafted book is a wonderful combination of almost-poetry and laugh-out-loud, slap your thigh prose. It’s an action-packed, fast paced narrative with incredible visuals to boot. Warm, visceral and totally believable. In a lovely synergy (considering Dylan’s psychic abilities) I can almost see this narrative making a dynamic translation to both the big and small screens.
Metal Fish, Falling Snow, is a jewel-encrusted treasure that explores all of the essential things in life – belonging, family, grief, joy, transformation, love and hope.
Suitable for young people aged 14 and over.
Title: Metal Fish, Falling Snow
Publisher: Text, $19.99
Publication Date: 2 July, 2020
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult
January 31, 2022 at 12:34AM DimbutNice